A young Katanning local is ready to make her mark on the national stage, as she prepares to represent WA at a national equestrian competition this month. Ruby Rae will be part of the WA team competing at the Australian Interschool Equestrian Championships after being selected in June. Her selection comes after her success at the Equestrian WA Interschool Championships held at the State Equestrian Centre in Brigadoon in late April, where she was recognised as the highest placed individual rider for the Year 10-12 group riding her horse Wrenegade Rock. Rae was also recognised as champion secondary rural rider and overall champion secondary rider at the championship, alongside obtaining four accolades as part of the Australian Christian College team. She is coached by Olympic silver medallist Sonja Johnson, who hails from the small country town of South Stirling. Johnson picked up a silver medal when she was part of the Australian eventing team that finished runner-up at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. “Sonja has been my eventing coach and mentor for the past three years and is always there to help me at competitions,” the 15-year-old said. “I was very lucky to take on the ride of her retired five-star international event horse, Parkiarrup Illicit Liaison, who has successfully taken me to many wins in the junior one-star division.” It is not the first time Rae has competed for her State, being selected last year for the Equestrian WA State Interschool Team and the Pony Club WA State Team. However, only the Pony Club Australia went ahead as a virtual competition due to COVID-19 restrictions. All footage, times and results had to be provided to Pony Club Australia for judging and adjudication, which resulted in a national champion title in JUcombined training along with Johnson’s retired event horse. “I really enjoyed the experience and was very surprised to take out the national award competing against some of the best junior riders across Australia,” Rae said. She is also a member of the Brumby Squad, the under-18 category of Equestrian WA’s high performance squad. “I learn so much from attending the squad training clinics. I have been lucky enough to be coached by Olympic athlete Bettina Hoy and Olympic coaches Will Enzinger and Rod Brown.” This year’s Australian Interschool Championships will take place from September 26-30 at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre.